politics

Japan uneasy over Trump pressure on auto as summit, trade talks loom

35 Comments
By Leika Kihara

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35 Comments
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Trump has ripped up all the old trade rule playbooks and has started the great trade war.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Trump ignited nationalism of America. He will remain popular among them. Japan must cooperate and live with America. Abe may know that friendship does not work to Trump who thinks "Business is business."

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Abe, please assume get the position. You have no choice. Trump is not your friend no matter how many times you carry his golf clubs for him.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The most disappoitment of all is to see Abe to meet Trump again and again. He was the first top-leader to meet Trump and have met him several times in many world conferences. So, Japan-USA trade did advance? Trump wants business talk, confrontation also is needed and Trump knows it. Friendly approaches of Abe to Trump is past, now is business table talk to debate and with him the best experts representing Japan's delegation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nothing to be worried about. Japan must take the opportunity to secure Chinese market, and let others to worry about unimportant things. China, has 5 times population of US, potentially has at least 2 times of US market in 10 years, and 3 times US market in 20 years. Only the most stupid couldn't see a golden bowl next door.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Nothing to be worried about. Japan must take the opportunity to secure Chinese market, and let others to worry about unimportant things. China, has 5 times population of US, potentially has at least 2 times of US market in 10 years, and 3 times US market in 20 years. Only the most stupid couldn't see a golden bowl next door.

You still have about 30.46 million living in poverty, good luck with that as most Chinese like European and American cars.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

most Chinese like European and American cars.

Did you bother to fact check yourself before posting that?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It's not like Japan is sending unwanted cars to the US, there's simply a high demand for Japanese cars. Unfortunately for US auto makers, there's very little demand for American made cars here.

The only way to truly fix that, is to change the style & quality of American cars to fit the needs of Japanese consumers.

Any other action is only smoke & mirrors, designed to mask ones real agenda.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Has Trump never read Adam Smith? For some reason, the Japanese make some of the best cars in the world. This is why American consumers choose them. Does Trump want to deprive Americans of choice or to make such a choice more expensive?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Abe does not have 'close ties' to Trump, as the article suggests. What he does have, on the other hand, is a handful (pardon the pun) of cards called US anti-ballistic missile defense purchases that he can easily cancel. If he has the guts.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Laguna:

Has Trump never read Adam Smith? For some reason, the Japanese make some of the best cars in the world. This is why American consumers choose them. Does Trump want to deprive Americans of choice or to make such a choice more expensive?

Well said. If the U.S. would manufacture vehicles of superior quality and style the Japanese might buy them. iPhones are an example of the Japanese being willing to buy such items.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

America becomes no longer interesting great market but India next to America. India has 1 billion people and America has 0.3 billion. India that is good relationship must be the greatest market in near future.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@ Akie - Come on dude, you being Chinese and I know that what you said isn't true.  If Japan allowed itself to rely on China's market, they are at the whim of the communist party.  See the links on how china uses that against countries:

https://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-senkaku-diaoyu-dispute-2012-9

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-japan-specialreport/special-report-why-chinas-film-makers-love-to-hate-japan-idUSBRE94O0CJ20130525

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-korea-thaad-20170301-story.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/17/thaad-anti-missile-system-makes-china-lash-out-at-south-korea.html

President Trump may try and limit the cars Japan sends to the US but he can't stop US citizens from buying them.  Like many posters said, Americans will continue to buy them.  I know, I will only buy Toyota.

Cheers!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

 Japan must take the opportunity to secure Chinese market, 

The problem with that plan is that China doesn't believe in free trade. It has already long maintained a 25% tariff on auto imports. In addition, the govt bans foreign automakers from having its own operations in the country. And ALSO, the Made in China 2025 initiative is aimed at cutting China's dependence on Japan and other trading partners. So, good luck!

America even under Trump remains Japan's best hope.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan should be uneasy. Japan has had a good run with international trade for decades. However, those international markets do not belong to Japan anymore, sepecifically vehicles and electronics. Combine this with all the scandals and falsified data and it is easy to see why Japan should be nervous. Japanese products are no longer associated with quality. They are associated with corruption and straight up lies. Just look at all the recent cases of falsified fuel consumption in cars. Then Takata airbags. That’s just two cases. I play and build custom guitars. The new Fender Japan guitars are around ¥100,000, which is double the price they were five years ago. However, if you check the electrics, pick ups, wiring, etc. you will see it is all the same cheap Chinese crap you get a ¥10,000 Chinese guitar. The finish on the body is comparable as are the kinds of wood used. The finish on the next ‘might’ be a little better, but there is not ¥90,000 difference. This sums up Japanese products quite well. They are like a chocolate bar from the ¥100 shop in a Mitsukoshi wrapper. They are all shiny on the outside, but inside it’s just the same old cheap crap.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I am sure that most teasonablee people realise that this trade imbalance between the USA and Japan has gone on for far too long now, and needs to be corrected.

After all, friendship is 50 -50 give and take.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Do the hustle

You often state that Japanese products are cheap crap that is packaged well and you back that up with your examples.

I have a few “examples” for you. I will use products and systems that have been around for at least 30 years ok?

Toyota / Sony / Canon / Bridgestone / Mitsubishi / Honda / Japan Railways /

Now I have used examples that have had ups and downs, problems, scandals, could do better, etc. But if these things are crap then that means that you should buy those Russian cars and cheap phones because apparantly Japan is just packaging.

Your guitar metaphor can also apply to me going to the Nike store as of now. Why do I buy ¥15,000 Nikes instead of ¥1500 department store bridgestone trainers? Some would say their isn’t a ¥13,500 difference and they would be right while missing the point too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

European cars are all over Japan, selling more than 300,000 a year. Why can't the US makers get in on the market? First they tried pricing their cars like the European cars. Japanese were not fooled. And they don't make cars for the Japanese market. Remember about right side steering, Lee Iococa said: "We don't have to have to make right side steering. Japanese will drive Crystlers for the status" (paraphrasing from the Japanese version). Don't even think about safety. And you wonder why Japanese don't buy American cars. Time to turn to China, which Abe is slowly doing (joining Belt and Road, AIIB, RCEP etc).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Trump just doesn't understand basic economics. Trump's tariffs just mean Americans pay more for goods. It's not as if the US car industry needs unfair protection.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That's a lot of Subarus...

Just think, in 6 months, many of those will be parked outside a Whole Foods with 'Coexist' and 'Stop the Pipeline' bumper stickers on them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Trump's tariffs just mean Americans pay more for goods.

Not "just." It also means America collects more taxes from foreigners. On half a trillion $ of goods a year, that's a lot of money.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

maybe if your trade policies were fair you would have nothing to be worried about?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

good luck with that as most Chinese like European and American cars.

oh dear more fake news backed by no actual statistics, here are the facts for new car sales in China for 2017

Chinese brands 10.8 million 44%

German Brands 4.8 million 19.6%

Japanese brand 4.2 million 17%

American brands 3 million 12.3%

Korean brands 1.1million 4.6%

so it fact that German and Japanese brands are the most popular foreign brands Chinese actually buy, when Trumps trade war hits hard Id say AMerica brands will take a hit and get consumed by German Japanese Chinese brands.

https://www.marklines.com/en/statistics/flash_sales/salesfig_china_2017

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Thepersoniamnow - Now I have used examples that have had ups and downs, problems, scandals, could do better, etc. But if these things are crap then that means that you should buy those Russian cars and cheap phones because apparantly Japan is just packaging. Your guitar metaphor can also apply to me going to the Nike store as of now. Why do I buy ¥15,000 Nikes instead of ¥1500 department store bridgestone trainers? Some would say their isn’t a ¥13,500 difference and they would be right while missing the point too.

Funny, you admit there is huge amounts of corruption in Japanese corporations and quality, but recommend buying them anyway. Firthermore, bunting a Japanese electric guitar for ¥100,000 which is full of the cheapest electrics available is not the same as buying pair of Nikes. Nike have the quality you are paying for unlike Japanese guitars.

All those companies you mentioned have been involved in scandals including falsifying safety data, padding profits to defraud shareholders, providing faulty products with knowledge of the faults, price fixing, market manipulation, bribery and just about any other kind of unscrupulous business practice you can think of. Perhaps Japanese people have short memories, but the world does not.

There is only one one thing in your statement that is correct. If I had a choice to buy a car that was not made in Japan I would be a Korean KIA or Hyundai, but Japan does not import theses cars.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I lived through a childhood of Japan shredding US steel, tool and die and auto manufacturing jobs in the US. Seems like karma.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If this is what America wants, then it’s about time Japan does the same for iphones, LG, Samsung, and other foreign brands in order to help leverage the competition for its local companies

1 ( +2 / -1 )

JeffLee

Not "just." It also means America collects more taxes from foreigners. On half a trillion $ of goods a year, that's a lot of money.

The foreigners (car manufacturers) don't pay a cent of this. The American consumer does.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Americans bought and still buy, Japanese goods because they are better and cheaper than their American counterparts.

American companies also willingly, WILLINGLY sold their intellectual property to Japan back in the 1970s and 80s.

America simply cannot compete with Japanese (and German for that matter) quality and price.

The Chinese are also catching up in quality. They already make 85% of ALL consumer electronics sold worldwide.

S. Korea and China have also become the world capitals of shipbuilding.

Mining, processing, manufacutring and shipping are the engines of the world economy. America is no longer the leader of these areas and has not been for decades.

America, while stil one of the largest consumer markets in the world, is no longer THE largest nor only market.

Other nations need no longer kowtow to America and nor should they.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All I can add is that if the US made a much better product than having to pay out all those high labor costs, and pay off the greedy investment stock holders, perhaps Japan would purchase more US made cars vs great quality cars made in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@2020hindsights

"The foreigners (car manufacturers) don't pay a cent of this. The American consumer does."

Really? So Washington is going to invoice US households instead of the importers to cover the tariffs? Man, you learn something new every day on the JT forum.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do the hustle

Yes I do admit that, and not admitting it would be faulty. Because I equate quality with more than an unrealistic perception of perfectionism. Are German products poor quality because VW lied massively? Are all Japanese products crap because of corruption.

If you have perspective you’d know that we are human and we lie, cheat, and steal. I’ve lived in many continents and know that here isn’t perfect, but the general quality is still high. But by all means throw out the baby with the bath water, and by all means buy yourself a Chinese made car.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This time around Shinzo,s gonna loose to the Don either way ..will be interesting to watch what kind of positive PR spin he will try to put on the outcome and whether Jpublic will swallow it as they usually do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Firthermore, bunting a Japanese electric guitar for ¥100,000 which is full of the cheapest electrics available

Oh no you don't... The Japanese Fender Strats (I presume you refer to these) are by far the best made. Quality-wise, they are perfectly comparable with the American ones, and price-wise, they're less than half. What means cheapest electronics? Single coil pickups, as they haven't changed from the '50s (and for very good reasons), of course are going to be cheap. But they sound extraordinarily good in the hands of the skilled.

If you really wanted a "Made in USA" instrument, of course, buy the original one, 1800 or more USD. If you wanted a really good one, buy a Made in Japan. If you're satisfied with a bit less, buy a Made in Mexico.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@JeffLee

Really? So Washington is going to invoice US households instead of the importers to cover the tariffs? Man, you learn something new every day on the JT forum.

2020 is right. Those importers are US companies that supply US retailers. They pay the import tariff and pass it on to the retailer who passes it on to the US customer. The foreign company pays nothing. An import tariff is a tax on US consumers.

So today you did learn something.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JeffLee

Really? So Washington is going to invoice US households instead of the importers to cover the tariffs? Man, you learn something new every day on the JT forum.

Here's how it works:

Goods cost $X.

US adds $Y tariff.

American consumer pays $X + $Y.

Foreign manufacturer gets $X, US govt gets $Y

So, as you can see the foreign manufacture gets the same money, the US consumer pays for the tariff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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